First, let's get some of the good out of the way. The old guard cast, like Ewan McGregor, Hayden and Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa) are great and their characters are written (mostly) well. It's all the new Disney-fied characters that suck...
The idea to release the first 2 episodes as a bundle and the rest in weekly instalments was very smart in this age of binge watching and I remember saying that not doing so for Book of Boba Fett was one of the things that tanked that series.
Now, onto the bad stuff.
This show has definitely been definitely Disney-fied and PG-crippled, in some respects, but then in others it isn't.
For example, in episode one the inquisitors are going after a jedi hiding on Tatooine and at the end of the episode, his body is hung from the gate. However, his body is hung such that ropes were tied around his chest and he's hanging there, looking like he's sleeping. They couldn't even portray him being hung by the neck, or hung upside-down with a lightsaber wound across his body or something...
Then in episode 3, Kenobi murders a bunch of Stromtroopers with a blaster and one of them falls on a laser gate and gets cut in half. Then later in the episode some real dark as fuck shit happens when
- Spoiler: Show
- Darth Vader shows up on the planet and starts murdering people left and right with the Force, including snaping a child's neck.
The actress simply does not have the presence or gravitas to come off as intimidating and her voice just sounds whiny. It's like watching a child trying to act all tough and intimidating, but because they can't actually be intimidating, they start lashing out.
Man, the show really wants the audience to think she's cool and like her. They give her a Batman on the rooftop scene, they give her a parkouring over rooftops scene, she is the one who tells Obi-Wan that Anakin is alive, she arranges the kidnapping of Leia to bring Kenobi out of hiding... They are pushing her so hard, it's off-putting, especially when there is an obvious fucking diversity agenda behind it.
It doesn't help that the show doesn't seem to have a consistent idea of what her deal is in the hierarchy of the Inquisitors and how the other treat her. The other Inquisitors treat her like shit, tell her to her face that she is the least of them, the Fifth brother even overpowers her with the Force at one point and yet at the same time she backtalks, she is insubordinate and she even stabs the Grand Inquisitor with her lightsaber.
If she is really that inferior in the hierarchy of DARK JEDI, she should be dead in the first 10 minutes of the first episode when she fucks up the Grand Inquisitor's interrogation.
That said, she is not the worst character. Holy hell, does that dishonour go to brat Leia.
Seriously, up until the last twenty minutes of episode 3, Leia is insufferable, because only then does she start acting like an actual 10 year old kid that's been kidnapped and taken away from her home. Prior to that, she's sassy and oh-so-smart and uppity and so on and so on.
She has a line she says to Obi-Wan: "Since I've met you, I've been kidnapped, chased, shot at and almost fell off a roof" and you can almost hear the sassy fingersnapps of the writer who wrote that, the problem being that every single one of those things Leia brought about on her self and Obi-Wan came into the picture after and because she was kidnapped.
Basically, she acts and talks like a know-it-all 40 year old trapped in a 10 year old girls body, meaning the writer and it doesn't work. Again, when she drops that stupid act and admits that she's scared and wants to go home, like a kidnapped 10 year old would, she's great so it's not the actress, it's the shitty writing, the permanent Achilles heel of Disney Star Wars...
The action in the show also vacillates from awesome to awful.
Some of Obi-Wan's fights are really well choreographed and shot, but then he can't outrun a 10 year old girl. He can shoot perfectly with a blaster pistol when the plot needs him to, but when the plot says he can't, he can't hit a an exposed dude from 10 meters away...
The Leia chase scenes really are the bottom of the barrel, both the one when Obi-Wan chases her on the rooftops, but especially the one where the kidnappers chase after he in the forest on Alderaan.
The Leia actress doesn't so much run as lightly jogs, so all the actors around her have to accommodate and it looks pathetic. At one point she crawls under a branch that's just barely as tall as the chest of the mercenary pursuing her and when Leia crawls under it, the merc stands there dumbfounded not knowing what to do when it is obvious she could either crawl under it or over it.
The shoot-out at the imperial checkpoint is a great example of plot driven action. Obi-Wan manages to kill 5 Stormtroopers at the checkpoint, some of them basically in cover and one of them holding Leia as a human shield no problem, but then they take one step beyond the checkpoint and an imperial transport arrives and 3 Stormtroopers disembark from it in broad daylight and with no cover, but he doesn't even try to shoot them and starts surrendering and is saved by Diverse Female Rouge Imperial Officer who shoots the Stormtroopers in the back.
She also saves his ass from Vader later on...
That said, Diverse Female Rouge Imperial Officer is written well as a character and acted well, it's just that again, 'she's the real HER-o, not this Kenobi guy" vibe it portrays.
And that's really the crux of a lot of the frustration and given that I watched this with my normie wife and she was yelling at the screen as much as I was, it's not some fanboyism on my port.
The series is called Kenobi and it's half way over and the title character is basically being carried through it by everyone the fuck else.
The best bits of the series really are Kenobi, Vader and the occasional call back and legacy characters.
While I dislike the full direction of where they are taking Kenobi and the retconning of some of the established cannon, what they give us with the character is good. His disillusionment, his PTSD like symptoms, his desparation, there is potential there and Ewan McGreggor, despite being a cheating piece of shit (sorry, couldn't help myself), does act it out well.
What doesn't make sense is that he has gotten so out of touch and shape with the Force. I mean, he is on a mission to protect Luke. It's what he and Yoda devised a plan around at the end of Revenge of the Sith and the New Hope that is supposed to save them from the dark times they are in.
No matter how emotionally fucked he may be, he should not have allowed himself to be this weak.
At the checkpoint, old Obi-Wan would jedi mindtrick the guard to let them through. When he's chasing Leia and she falls off of the roof, he barely catches her with the force and clearly has to strain to do it.
With that said, the confrontation between him and Vader in episode 3 does work, but it is largely carried by Vader being utterly brutal.
I don't know what to think about this series. There's a lot of potential there, but there is so much crap just weighing it down...
If this series tanks and some of the rumors of how it ends I'm hearing are not giving me hope, I am giving up on Star Wars.